Speaking at a gala dinner held at Thaba- Bosiu Cultural Village on October 14, the deputy minister for sports, Mrs. Rethabile Marumo-Mokaeane disclosed that the government will assist the Local Organising Committee (LOC) financially in order to make those upcoming games a success.
She commended the Committee for its commitment in preparations of the games, adding that she is pretty sure Lesotho is going to host successful games that will make everyone proud.
Mrs. Marumo-Mokaeane urged for patriotism of Basotho from all spheres of life. She appealed to the Regional Organising committee (ROC) to further support Lesotho in order for Her to reach the targeted goal of hosting very successful games.
Speaking at the same event, LOC Chairperson, Mr. Fusi Notoane thanked ROC for visiting Lesotho, adding that it has been a very thought provoking time, thereby expressing the committee's gratefulness.
He encouraged his colleagues and counterparts that as they are embarking on the journey they must ensure they execute their mandate in a manner that the country and its citizens would proud of.
Mr. Notoane indicated that it would be embarrassing for them and the country as a whole to have a little number of participants in 2020 while play host. He therefore appealed to associations to liaise well with their players for the betterment of sports and wellbeing of the athletes.
Sharing the same sentiments, ROC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mr. Stanley Mutoya revealed that for the little time he has spent in Lesotho, he is sure that Lesotho will successfully host the games no matter the circumstances that may come along, noting that he has seen huge commitment.
However, he expressed concern on the International Netball Team of Lesotho asking why it will not be participating in the games to be held in Botswana Gaborone in December, saying if they had known about it before their visit to Lesotho, they would not have come.
Mr. Mutoya therefore challenged the deputy minister that they are hoping to see the team taking part in the upcoming games.
The immediate 2018 AUSC games will be in Botswana in December. The AUSC Region 5 member states are Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, eSwatini, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Previously known as Supreme Council for Sport in Africa (SCASA) Zone VI Youth Games, the name was changed in 2013 to become AUSC Region 5 Youth Games and are hosted after every two years on a rotational basis by the member nations according to alphabetical order.
Mr Notoane said that once the government was ready to release funds, they were prepared to start attending to the concerns which were raised by the Regional Organising Committee during their tour to the sporting facilities and other logistics relating to the games saying the plan is to kick start such activities in the first quarter of next year so that they can have enough time before 2020.
Commenting on how they plan to revive the spirits of local players, athletes to take part in the games since some have lost interest because they are still owed by their associations for having performed in Olympic games in as far back as 2008, he said in their budget they have included team Lesotho for the 2018 AUSC games to be in Botswana as well as AUSC 2020, saying it is up to the associations to ensure that athletes get what is due to them so that they could represent the country in Botswana.
The facilities inspected included Leshoboro Sports Arena in Mafeteng, Setsoto stadium, Lesotho High School, Lehakoe Recreational Club, Bambatha Ts'ita Sports Arena, Maseru Club, National Tennis Courts, Lesotho Correctional Services (LCS) and the National University of Lesotho (NUL).
“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger
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